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By Verna Yu. Published in South China Morning Post

Dec 8, 2015-Detained human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who faces eight years in jail, attended a pre-trial meeting at a Beijing court on Tuesday where some of the evidence previously held against him had been dismissed, his lawyer said.

Lawyer Mo Shaoping said a date for the trial had still not been set. Prosecutors, judges and defence lawyers were also at the pre-trial session at the Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court. Mo declined to disclose what Pu said at the meeting.

Pre-trial meetings can take place anytime from days to months before the actual trial.

Pu, who suffers chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, has been detained for a year and a half without trial.

His other lawyer, Shang Baojun, said on Monday his client was suffering from high blood sugar level and they would again apply for bail, even though a previous application was turned down in September.

Pu was charged with “inciting ethnic hatred” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, and has been accused of posting remarks online critical of the government’s handling of an ethnic conflict in Kunming, Yunnan province, last year as well as sarcastic comments about two officials.

Pu’s indictment in May centred on 30 “incriminating” microblog postings, but Mo said the list had been cut to 12, some of which had the same content. In effect, the evidence against him consisted of seven microblog texts, Mo said.

Lawyers said earlier that Pu’s microblog messages from 12 Weibo accounts between 2011 and last year were used to indict him. Those commentaries were mostly sarcastic criticisms of the Communist Party and its policies towards ethnic minorities and neighbouring countries.

Pu told Shang on Monday that his online remarks were “emotionally charged, sarcastic and even rude sometimes” but he had done nothing to warrant the charges against him.

The indictment linked the “inciting ethnic hatred” charge to comments on several Sina Weibo accounts on the knife attack at a Kunming railway station in March last year.

See the full article on SCMP

Check the English translation of the seven weibo posts on Quartz